Today’s recipe is all about the best Italian lemon drop cookies you can make, and I know because I have been making these forever and then some.
Every batch of the simple Italian lemon cookies turns out perfect because the ingredients are simplistic and create a sponge-like consistency for each dropped cookie that touches the cookie pan!
Every year during the holidays, I replicate recipes handed down from generation to generation.
If you are familiar with the old ‘Italians,’ you know that getting them to hand over a recipe often is like pulling teeth or getting water out of a stone!
I changed all that when I got my hands on this recipe because when a recipe is this good and easy, it just has to be shared. My Nonna Santa (yes, that was her name, SANTA) gave me the recipe.
A no-frills recipe that delivers big on taste presents so colorfully and can be changed up with a replacement of ingredients.
There’s a lot of room for exploration and discovery in this recipe.
Dawn an apron, grab your bakeware, and let’s bake our Christmas Cookie tradition and our New Year’s specialty, plus the cookie we use for weddings in those famous Pittsburgh Wedding Cookie tables, bridal showers, and baby showers!
We’ve updated our post from 5 years ago as it is so popular and we get a lot of fun questions, so we hope we’ve answered everything in more detail!
Table of Contents
Why You’ll Love The Lemon Drop Dookies With Icing
What I remember most about the best Italian Lemon Drop Cookies with icing is that they were always in a glass dish and so tasty.
The part that brings my Italian family recipe full circle is truly part of this story. When I married my husband, his mom cooked these Italian Lemon Drop Cookies with icing. Tradition is as tradition does, and this is our family recipe.
Here’s a few reasons you’ll love the lemon drop cookies with icing:
- this is an easy-to-make cookie dough that turns out awesome every single time
- our Italian recipe includes easy-to-find ingredients
- The lemon cookies with icing are drop cookies making them fast and easy to make
- you can change the ingredients a bit (I’ll share more further down in the post so keep reading)
- The drop lemon cookies are easy to transport just drop them on a tray and go!
- Italian Lemon Christmas Cookies are great for weddings, baptisms, graduations, and any holiday or party!
Get ready for an awesome cookie where every bite tastes delectable, from cookie batter to icing.
Kitchen Essentials TO Bake The Best Italian Lemon Cookies Ever!
Make sure you have awesome cookie sheets like my favorite trays below, that are stainless steel and the backbone of all of my baking and the pans that make the recipe for the delicious and easy lemon Italian cookies we are making now.
- also parchment paper
- cooling racks
- a rubber scraper
- lemon zester
- a large mixing bowl
- a mixer or a stand mixer (then you don’t need a mixing bowl)
- an oven
Use parchment paper to make cleanup a whole lot easier and when you are icing it is great under the cooling racks for all the drips when the lemon cookies with icing com together then you can just toss it out!
Ingredients For The Italian Lemon Cookies
- Lemon Extra
- fresh lemon
How to Make The Best Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
I doubled the recipe for the lemon Italian cookies, but you can make less by cutting the ingredients in half! What I love the most is the colorfulness of the end product.
Step 1: Prep Your Ove To Bake The Lemon Drop Cookies
Preheat Oven to 375°.
Step 2: Combining The Liquid Ingredients
Start by placing the butter, sugar, milk, and eggs in the bowl to combine well, then mix in the vanilla and lemon and continue to stir.
Step 3: Zest that Lemon
Now zest your lemon generously, more or less as preferred.
Step 4: Dry Ingredients For The Soft Lemon Drop Cookies
Add in baking powder, and a cup of flour at a time, while stirring and scraping down the side of the bowl.
The dough is very easy to work with and flawlessly provides! Do not let it sit after you make it.
You can see the dough for the soft lemon drop cookies in the bowl above, it is simply spectacular.
Step 5: Drop The Batter To The Cookie Pan
Use your spatula and a regular tablespoon (silverware), and a spoon and drop the batter onto the tray.
Repeat until the tray is filled and spaced properly!
Step 6: Bake Your Soft Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
Bake until the bottoms brown lightly, but do not let the soft Italian cookies burn. They will taste awful if you do.
Step 7: Cool The Lemon Italian Soft Drop Cookies
Allow to cool for a few hours, and then you will ice them with my Italian Icing.
Use my >>>>> simple icing recipe <<<<<<<
All you will do is spread icing with measuring cups and add on those nonpareils (see how many you get on your floor, lol!)
This is the easy part. I suggest lining the trays with parchment paper so cleanup is easier.
Sprinkle while the icing is wet; you need these to stick and not roll off.
I suggest getting as close to the cookie as you can when adding the sprinkles.
Remember they stain (yes, I learned that years ago and always forget the mess!)
I have seen these in many colors, and you, of course, could use traditional sprinkles or crystallized colors of sugar, all your personal preference.
FAQ’S About The Best Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
My Dough Is Sponge-Like For The Soft Italian Lemon Cookies, should it be?
Yes! If you have made the dough per the directions you will find that the dough will be of a sponge-like consistency.
Can I use orange zest instead of lemon zest for the Italian drop cookies?
Absolutely! That is what we love best about these cookies, you can change the citrus to whatever you prefer and they always turn out great!
Print The Recipe
Please don’t leave without the recipe; print it here or bookmark this page!
Best Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
- 1 C of Sugar
- 1 C of Butter
- 6 Eggs
- 4 C of Flour
- 3 Tsp Baking Powder
- 3 Tsp of Lemon Extract
- 1 Tsp of Real Vanilla
- 4 Tbsp Milk
- 1 Lemon Washed & Rind Shredded (zested)
- Preheat Oven to 375° (bake about 10 minutes each until bottoms brown lightly)
- Place butter, sugar, milk, and eggs in the bowl.
- Mix and then add in vanilla, and lemon and continue to stir.
- Add lemon rind zest, baking powder and stir.
- Slowly add in flour, cup by cup, making sure to get it all stirred on in.
- The dough is very easy to work with and flawlessly provides! Do not let it sit after you make it.
- Clean sides of the bowl, scoop all towards the center.
- The dough is spongy-like.
- Use your spatula and a regular tablespoon (silverware) and spoon to a tray.
- Repeat until the tray is filled and spaced properly
- Bake for 10 minutes until bottoms brown lightly.
- Do not let this burn they will taste awful if you do.
- Allow to cool for a few hours and then you will ice them with my Italian Icing.
Enjoy, with a cup of coffee ~ XO Dana